Will A Mole Infestation Damage A Home’s Foundation?
When you think about potential threats to your house foundation, moles probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, these small, burrowing mammals can wreak havoc on your yard and garden. So, can they also pose a risk to your home’s foundation?
In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics and behavior of moles, their impact on your yard, and whether they can damage your house foundation. We’ll also discuss signs of mole infestation and how to protect your home from these pesky critters.
Learn More: Common Concerns Of Mole Removal
Characteristics of Moles
Moles are small mammals that belong to the Talpidae family. They are specially adapted for a subterranean lifestyle, with their cylindrical body shape, enlarged front paws for digging, and reduced eyes and ears. Moles primarily feed on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates.
Moles are solitary creatures and live most of their lives underground, using their impressive digging skills to create extensive tunnel systems. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours, and their tunneling activity increases in the spring and fall.
How Moles Affect Your Yard
Molehills and Tunnels
Moles create two types of tunnels: shallow surface tunnels and deeper main tunnels. Surface tunnels are used for hunting, while main tunnels serve as a permanent residence and transportation system. The excavated soil from the tunneling process results in the formation of molehills, which are small mounds of dirt on your lawn.
Damage to Plants and Roots
While moles don’t eat plants, their tunneling can cause significant damage to your yard and garden. As they dig their tunnels, they can sever plant roots, leading to the death of grass, flowers, and other plants.
Can Moles Damage a House Foundation?
Indirect Effects of Mole Activity
Moles are unlikely to cause direct damage to your house foundation. However, their tunneling can lead to soil erosion and increased water penetration, which can indirectly affect the stability of your home’s foundation. Over time, these issues can cause soil to shift and settle unevenly, leading to potential foundation problems.
Direct Effects on Foundation
While rare, there have been instances where moles have tunneled near or under a house foundation. In extreme cases, their tunneling activity can weaken the foundation, leading to structural issues. However, this is not a common occurrence, and the risk of moles causing direct damage to a house foundation is relatively low.
Signs of Mole Infestation
To determine if moles are posing a threat to your house foundation, you should be aware of the signs of their presence. These signs include:
- Molehills: Small mounds of dirt on your lawn are a clear indication of mole activity.
- Raised ridges: Surface tunnels create visible ridges on your lawn or garden.
- Damaged plants: Uprooted or dying plants can be a result of moles severing roots while tunneling.
- Soft, spongy lawn: Extensive tunneling can cause the ground to feel soft or spongy underfoot.
How to Protect Your House Foundation from Moles
If you suspect that moles are causing problems in your yard, there are several methods you can employ to protect your house foundation from potential damage.
Mole repellents are available in various forms, including granules, sprays, and ultrasonic devices. These products use different active ingredients and methods to deter moles from your property. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on the mole species and environmental conditions.
Trapping and Removal
Trapping is a highly effective method for removing moles from your property. Several types of traps are available, including scissor traps, choker traps, and harpoon traps. It is essential to follow the instructions carefully and check the traps regularly to ensure humane and effective mole removal.
Attracting natural predators, such as owls and snakes, can help control the mole population in your yard. Installing owl boxes or creating suitable habitats for snakes can encourage these predators to take up residence on your property.
3 Landscaping Techniques To Protect Your Foundation From Burrowing Moles
Modifying your landscaping can also help deter moles from tunneling near your house foundation. Some effective techniques include:
- Installing a physical barrier, such as a deep trench filled with gravel, around the perimeter of your house.
- Keeping your lawn well-drained by installing a French drain or using other drainage solutions.
- Reducing the number of insects in your yard, which can make the area less attractive to moles.
While moles can cause damage to your yard and garden, the risk of them directly damaging your house foundation is relatively low. However, their tunneling activity can lead to soil erosion and increased water penetration, which can indirectly affect the stability of your home’s foundation. By recognizing the signs of mole infestation and taking appropriate action, you can protect your house foundation from potential damage caused by these burrowing mammals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Moles Damage The Foundation Of A Home?
One of the most common problems associated with sinking or failing concrete is soil settlement and shifting. Erosion and drainage issues, for example, are two factors that contribute to shifting soil. Burrowing rodents can also cause soil displacement, and often at much faster rates than natural forces.
In search of a new home or to avoid predators, moles will dig under anything and everything. This includes burrowing beneath concrete slabs and foundations, resulting in the rapid formation and growth of voids that jeopardize the slab’s structural integrity and pose a safety hazard. It takes years for the elements to deteriorate can be accomplished in a few days by a large family of mice or rats.
Burrowing rodents can cause voids in concrete, which can lead to cracking or sinking. These voids are especially dangerous because they often have no visible signs of their presence; a perfectly healthy-looking concrete slab could have a large void beneath it, posing a serious threat to those above.
Can Moles Enter A Home Through The Foundation?
Moles are more likely to stay in the yard and not enter the house, but it’s not impossible. Mole encounters in the home typically occur if your foundation is weak, and the pests will sneak in through a crack. Although moles rarely come into contact with humans, they are known to carry rabies. If there are moles in your yard, your pets may be in danger if they try to catch one or are caught off guard while digging. Moles usually try to avoid humans, but if one does not, it could be sick, so avoid touching it.
How To Avoid Foundation Mole Damage?
If your yard is frequented by moles, it’s a good idea to take preventive measures to protect your home’s foundation from burrowing moles. A wildlife removal & exclusion company such as Animals Happen can come out to your property and do a risk assessment. Wild animal control technicians will identify weak points and advise on what can be done to strengthen those weak points. Vulnerabilities around the home can be filled with rocks or gravel, making it difficult for the moles to dig near the home. If your home has been susceptible to mole damage in the past, contact us to fortify the property.
What do moles eat?
Moles primarily feed on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates.
How can I tell if I have a mole infestation in my yard?
Signs of mole infestation include molehills, raised ridges, damaged plants, and a soft, spongy lawn.
Are moles dangerous to humans?
Moles are not dangerous to humans and are generally considered to be more of a nuisance due to the damage they cause to lawns and gardens.
What is the best way to get rid of moles?
Trapping is considered one of the most effective methods for removing moles from your property.
Can I use poison to kill moles?
Although there are mole poisons available on the market, they are not recommended due to the potential harm they can cause to non-target animals, the environment, and human health.